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A Behind the Scenes Look at Metro Hotels’ Direct Channel Success

An insightful interview with Carlie Tait, Group ECommerce & Distribution Manager at Metro Hotels



  13, Jun 2024

 Tags: Insider Hotel Stories Conversion

At THN, we take pride in partnering with a diverse range of accommodation providers from all around the globe. Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Carlie Tait from Metro Hotels, a well-established and fully Australian-owned hotel chain. With a rich history spanning over 46 years, Metro Hotels has been a prominent player in the hospitality industry, offering exceptional accommodations across key locations in Australia. In this interview, Carlie shares valuable insights into Metro Hotels' direct channel strategy, their unique market approaches, and the impact of innovative technologies like SafeDirect.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Could you start by telling us a little more about Metro Hotels and the core elements of your direct channel strategy?

Metro Hotels is one of Australia's longest-standing hotel chains and is 100% Australian-owned. We’ve been providing accommodation options for business and leisure travelers in key locations around Australia for over 46 years. Our direct channel strategy encompasses multiple layers, all focused on maximizing opportunities and elevating guest satisfaction. At the heart of our strategy lies our website and booking engine, allowing us to personalize the experience for our customers. Here, we don't just showcase the hotel experience but also strive to build trust in the booking process. This helps build confidence and loyalty right from the start.

Who are your primary target markets, and what unique approaches have you employed to set your properties apart from the competition?

Our target markets vary across our diverse properties, but overall, the domestic market is key for us. To set our properties apart from the competition, we implement strategies tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of our customers. One key approach is providing staycations & packages designed to appeal to domestic travelers. We also ensure that our direct bookers enjoy the best rates available and receive added value through bonus perks and amenities. By consistently offering these benefits, we aim to build loyalty among our customers and differentiate ourselves in a competitive market.

We’ve had the pleasure of working together since 2017, time flies! Could you elaborate on how your use of the THN platform has evolved over these past seven years?

Initially, we relied on the Price Comparison & Review widgets, along with a handful of personalized messages. Today, we use THN’s platform extensively! We've fine-tuned messages based on various factors such as customer search dates, stay dates, guest count, exit intent, and beyond. Messages are also aligned with our email marketing and social campaigns, ensuring a cohesive experience for our customers throughout their journey with us. It's significantly improved how we communicate the right information to the right customers at the right times, enhancing their experience whilst boosting our conversion rates.

You’ve already been using personalization technology effectively to enhance your website performance. What were your initial thoughts when you were introduced to SafeDirect as an offering on your direct channel?

We immediately recognized the unique value that this offered our customers, as well as the potential it held for increasing our direct bookings. With SafeDirect automatically included in each booking, our guests can rest assured they've made the right choice, all without any additional administrative burden on our end. We've been delighted with the results so far, and we look forward to further growth in our direct bookings.

Since Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central has experienced a boost in direct bookings after using SafeDirect in your campaigns, what are your future plans for implementing this across other properties?

We've already begun implementing SafeDirect at Metro Aspire Hotel Sydney and Metro Hotel Perth City, with plans to expand further in the future. We're especially keen to see potential upticks in international conversions at these two locations, as this is an area we've flagged for improvement.

Aside from SafeDirect, what other campaigns with THN have proven to be particularly effective for your brand?

There have been so many that have been successful for us, but one that really stands out for me is our use of exit intent messages. Implemented a couple of years ago, these messages immediately drove increases in conversion and revenue, a trend which continues to this day.

What advice would you give to other hoteliers who are looking to delve into the world of website optimization and personalization?

If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors, and the OTAs, personalization is key! My advice would be to start by thoroughly understanding your target audiences and their preferences. Utilize THN's tools to tailor your website content, offers, and messaging accordingly, but also continue to analyze your data to refine strategies and further enhance the guest experience.

Thank you to Carlie and Metro Hotels for sharing these insightful strategies and experiences. It's clear that their commitment to personalization plays a key role in their continued success in such a competitive industry. Curious how offering SafeDirect affected Metro Hotel Marlow Sydney Central’s direct channel performance? Discover exactly how the innovative perk led to a 34% increase in conversion

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